Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) isn’t interested in selling his company’s FTX Tokens in an OTC deal with Alameda.
“I think we will stay in the free market,” he said on Twitter on Monday while responding to a question about Alameda’s potential involvement. Alameda CEO Caroline Elison publicly offered to purchase all of the FTT Binance intends to offload for $22 a piece on Sunday, to limit the liquidation’s impact on the market.
However, CZ’s response signals that Binance will likely go by its original plan to slowly sell the rival exchange’s tokens throughout the next few months on the open market, rather than over-the-counter.
Binance’s full exit from FTT is, according to CZ, a response to “recent revelations that have come to light” about FTX, which he suggested has been lobbying “against other industry players behind their backs.”
The billionaire’s cagey language had a major effect on the market: Besides sending FTX token down 10% in value, it also spurred mass crypto withdrawals from FTX over what looks like customer panic about the state of their funds.
Get your funds out of FTX. This is financial advice.
— Ran Neuner (@cryptomanran) November 6, 2022
As it happens, Binance has seemingly experienced roughly equivalent net inflows over the past 24 hours, according to data from Nansen.
FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried (SBF) didn’t take kindly to CZ’s words, asserting over Twitter on Friday that “a competitor” was targeting his exchange with “false rumors.”
“FTX has enough to cover all client holdings,” he stated. “We have been processing all withdrawals, and will continue to be.”
Some believe CZ’s announcement on Sunday was orchestrated to stir panic around FTX at a time when public sentiment around SBF was relatively low, and when rumors about sister company Alameda Research’s poor financials were spreading.
However, CZ denies that his company’s announcement has been part of any kind of “conspiracy” against FTX, or that he’s in a “fight” with its CEO.
“Sorry to disappoint, but I spend my energy building, not fighting,” he said Monday. “I suggest others do the same.”